tv Headline News RT January 17, 2014 3:00am-3:30am EST
president obama is set to deliver a speech on the n.s.a. surveillance methods as many question whether the government is ready to limit the agency's spying breach. russia spearheaded the final diplomatic push to ensure all sides get a fair say at next week's international peace conference on syria. and the u.k. foreign secretary william hague as normal to try and convince scotland not to go it alone with an independence referendum eight months away.
a very warm welcome to you if you're joining us now on r.t. international is just composite day here in the russian capital city. millions of those who are concerned over the extent to which they've been washed by america's national security agency are now waiting to hear from the country's president he's expected to announce a much anticipated changes to the way the agency works but it's unclear how far the reforms will go artie's some sex reports from washington d.c. . today president obama heads to the department of justice just a few blocks from here and he'll deliver a speech on n.s.a. reforms specifically what he supports from the forty six recommendations his own review panel put forward a few weeks ago the president is expected to devote a large portion of his speech to the privacy concerns of non-u.s. citizens and businesses basically trying to assure foreign consumers that their privacy will be protected when they communicate using american tech companies like
google and yahoo now you might remember when it was disclosed that allied world leaders like brazilian president dilma rousseff were spied on by the n.s.a. the president was quick to order a review of that program but the president has not shown the same concern for tens of millions of non u.s. citizens in germany and brazil and france who are also being spied on so there's a high likelihood that he will finally tackle that issue today now the big question is what happens to the most controversial n.s.a. program revealed by edward snowden and that's the n.s.a.'s bulk telephone metadata collection program the president could order an end to that program right now we could do it today if you wanted to and he wouldn't need congress's approval instead the president is expected to introduce some limited reforms to the bulk collection program and then kick in the congress to have the final say on whether or not it should continue the president's speech they will set up a fight on capitol hill between lawmakers cozy with the surveillance state and lawmakers pushing to substantially reform it ultimately though a lot of what happens to the n.s.a.
moving forward is out of the president's hands the courts are weighing in on the constitutionality of these programs and in congress the patriot act which underpins many of the n.s.a. surveillance programs expires on june first of next year and it's unlikely the votes are there anymore to extend the more controversial parts of it so you can think of the president's speech as him reaching out to congress to save at least some of these spy programs that he has spy chiefs have. same programs are completely dismantled by the courts or congress next year in washington d.c. the same socks are. just and radek a campaign of full government accountability does not believe that any of the in tis a painted changes will make a genuine difference. so far what has been telecast through government leaks look a lot like a lot of cosmetic changes in other words it does not appear that the president will
be reigning in the largest controversy with this probably the bulk collection of american data nor will he be adopting any recommendation to house and store that data in for example a telephone company rather than five anational security agency again i think a lot of these changes are really discuss magic and they're contrary to what his own internal review panel recommended us democratic congressman rush holt a small optimistic they he told us about a bill that he proposes for reining in the n.s.a. it does several things it grants whistleblower protection to members of the intelligence community it would prevent the n.s.a. or any similar agency from installing back doors into hardware or software the bill
would also remove the justification that the n.s.a. has invoked for seizing the metadata of virtually everyone saying that it will treat it with care and we won't abuse people's civil liberties unless we suspect that we don't want those who are doing the surveillance to be the very same ones who decide who the bad guys are. spying on the whole world doesn't come cheap but the actual figures as with much else in the field of intelligence a top secret leaked information however has revealed that the so-called black budget amounted to fifty two point six billion dollars from twenty third in fiscal year out of that pie over ten billion when to the n.s.a. its funding has grown by say green fifty three percent since two thousand and four years sources say terrorist detection methods only involve n.s.a. surveillance seven point five percent of the time or he's going to take and looks
into the agency's effectiveness. for years the u.s. government had been hiding its dragnet surveillance of entire nations under the national security rug in fear of another nine eleven americans had no idea of just how pervasive the government spying program became but following edward snowden's revelations lice came to the surface does the n.s.a. collect any type of gate at all on millions or hundreds of millions of americans. no sir. we know of at least. fifty threats that have been averted because of this information. there is only one case where this was useful somebody somebody thought eighty five hundred dollars to somalia to an al qaeda affiliate not to be encouraged but even in that case the government wait of two months to investigate this case so you know the idea that
this is kind of critical to stopping terrorism is overblown public policy group the new america foundation has analyzed hundreds of terrorism related cases and says traditional investigative methods such as the use of informants in tips work best. the n.s.a. sweeping surveillance did nothing to prevent the bombings in boston last year even despite multiple tips from abroad concerning one of the perpetrators the president's own surveillance policy review board has concluded the n.s.a. bulk data collection was quote not essential to preventing attacks the head of the n.s.a. was eventually pressed to admit that the government had exaggerated the effectiveness of the program would you grant the fifty four cases you keep getting cited by the administration for not all plots how the verge of all of my thirteen had some nexus of us do you agree with that yes or no. yes the obama administration found
itself in hot water when edward snowden revealed that the n.s.a. was busy spying on allies and trading partners and not just terrorists the n.s.a. has built a vast new center into you talk to store people's private data and much of it will have nothing to do with terrorists what we're doing is catering to tell a tarion procedures which is gathering information about all the individuals in the world. thousands have been taking to the streets to protest against what they see is their government becoming big brother when in the wake of nine eleven the patriot act or for an end to privacy many americans thought at least they'd be safe but with recent revelations even that tradeoff is on the question in washington i'm going to check on our team. at our web site to learn more about america's surveillance photos and get x.-plane analysis on what u.s. spine means for the rest of the world and of course we'll bring you more on
president obama's upcoming speech later today here on our team. lost if diplomatic efforts are in full swing to bring all key poll players to the upcoming international peace conference on syria some major issues remain to be ironed out with less than a week left before the summit kicks off in switzerland is there enough initial reports. the decisiveness on part of the syrian opposition whether or not they actually want to participate in the talks take the syrian national council for example on friday they're actually going to meet in istanbul in order to figure out whether or not they want to be present at the geneva conference in fact the disagreements within the faction itself are so great that the even have a dozen of members who have left a faction already over these discussions and it's still unclear just how much gravitas really the carries with the notoriously fragmented syrian opposition for example some of the groups on the ground such as the hardest groups in the free
syrian army have already said that the s.n.c. carries no authority over them when it comes to the syrian government however yes they said they are going to be at the geneva two conference in fact that was retreated during the meeting between this syrian iranian and of course russian foreign ministers in moscow on thursday meeting between russia's foreign minister and the syrian foreign minister is actually going to continue today now when it comes to iran's presence at the geneva two some of the protests against the united states believes that the run should be there should be no more than an observer from the sidelines moscow however has a different opinion which was expressed by the russian foreign minister sergei lavrov who said that in fact iran can be just a just as an important player in these talks as syria much like the syrian people and the people of iran we want to eliminate the hardwoods of terrorism on syria so
this is our unified position so moscow is stepping up its last minute efforts in order to bring all of the parties to the table for two for them to come and try to come to the peaceful agreement or at least to make this first step in that direction it is not clear exactly how long the conference in geneva will last or exactly what kind of results will be achieved bugs or. of course the international community is hoping that this will be the first step in order to find a diplomatic solution to the concept in syria which has been at this point raging for almost three years and according to some estimates claims around hundred thirty thousand lives washington is also urging the syrian opposition to attend the geneva two summit but the top view was diplomat has come out with a sharp condemnation of extremism tippity in syria secretary say john kerry says the country has become the hotbed for terrorist groups seeking to capitalize on the strife of the syrian people the world needs no reminder that syria has become the
magnet for jihadists and extremists it is the strongest magnet for terror of anyplace today so it defies logic to imagine that those who bruges whose brutality created this magnet how they could ever lead syria away from extremism and towards a better future is beyond any kind of logic or common sense france is among the countries that the will be attending the geneva two conference now the country has voiced concern over hundreds of its nationals fighting alongside the rebels in syria amid fears will return home radicalized a former french prime minister told us that the talks in switzerland must take place without preconditions. i believe we have two problems today one is we need of caused the opposition to take part in this discussion because how can we
have any settlement without having everybody around the table but also we have within the opposition a very strong. very strong fights between the two parts of the political opposition and the jihadists are fighting very strongly on the ground i think we should take away the jihadist all the people that are behind al qaeda and we should not focus on the problem of assad we should not have any preview condition. before starting this political discussion the i really believe that iran should be as much as possible part of the talks because you were uneasy very regional players and if we can have iran on board in discussing the crude prices of the region we'd of course we will be much more efficient. i would still have more
stories for you at this hour while most living under constant fear of violence. they sit and us with their lives and their will right to film sicko to watch from the door. our correspondent hears from wife come up against and say the country's a racist get off equal treatment when it comes to security stay with us here on our t.v. . the playing. field in big spirit travels with the flame from its birthplace in greece. join james brown for an elemental and epic journey around russia and beyond.
and london is making its concerns clear or bridges minister for europe warning that an independent scotland would not get an easy pass into the european union foreign secretary william hague is also determined to keep the scots in the fault details now from police. ek foreign secretary william hague is in glasgow today to outline the case for why scotland should stay within the united kingdom. unveiling the latest scotland analysis papers which are a response to scotland's white paper which came out last november and propagated voting yes in the referendum in september now the analysis today is doing the direct opposite and it's focusing on the breadth of the u.k.'s diplomatic network and just how much scotland currently benefits from it so take for example business based in scotland they say that it benefits directly from efforts to protect the
u.k.'s economic interests like defending the world famous scorching whisky against counterfeits against excessive taxation and against trade barriers but the battle from both the yes and no candidates is really huge. in september we've had accusations of propaganda wars being waged from both sides of the barricades certainly critics of westminster have accused the british government of fear mongering in order to secure a no vote to come september but let's take a listen to what the minister for europe said about scotland's independence bid just yesterday first of all of scotland quits walks it leaves behind all that it gets as part of the united kingdom not just about membership of the e.u. the un security council the commonwealth the g eight the g twenty but in very concrete terms we've got this very large international network of embassies and high commissions around the world the scottish business including things like
scotch whisky scottish to produce beef and so on the analysis unveiled today goes as far as you're minding swats about the relatively modern day in pleasures that they currently enjoy as british citizens such as consular services when they travel abroad but we know that westminster is better together campaign is really stepping up the fight for the union and sort of love bombing the scots with p. to stay in the united kingdom for english celebrities prominent business figures and sports stars but in reality scottish independence is quite a remote possibility according to the latest polls just twenty six percent of scots plan on voting yes come september so the war of words on both sides are certainly hotting up and we're going to be watching as it progresses in the run up to the historic vote on the eighteenth of september. so she is putting the final touches
in place for the twenty fourteen winter olympics volunteer arrived from all over russia and then now to get a briefing from president putin andrew farmer is in the olympic city joining us arrived and now and day here looking already there with the snow capped mountains behind you now doesn't seem like an exciting moment and obviously quite memorable for everybody. there is i'll just explain where i am firstly to high up in the mountains at the biathlon and cross-country ski center which has been purpose built for these games which get underway in around three weeks' time but there's a lot going on here today as you mentioned because a limpet volunteers are actually meeting with president putin no less in this no less than a dessert if you ask me because volunteers to perform a very important role in every olympics not only do they meet and greet the delegates and also be athletes and members of the public they do help to guide these people around the host city and other responsibilities also include things
like translating a press conferences and also escorting athletes to doping control so there is a lot of responsibility there will be twenty five thousand of these volunteers on duty and saw huge does sound like a very big number but actually these are the chosen few because organizers did receive something like one hundred fifty thousand applications from people all over the world from places like garner a dominican republic but they have managed to work from them down just over half of them are from russia the rest are from around the rest of the globe the age range goes from eighteen years all way up to people who are eighty years old so there is something for everybody but they do have certain common skills number one they do have good language skills secondly we're told they do work well under pressure and lastly of course they have to have a nice smile because they are here to make us all feel welcome you won't miss them either because they will be wearing those bright. colored trucks now indeed looks
like we're already halfway through in terms of what we need mother nature has cooperated with us when we come to the winter snow now i've been there many a time says softly and the last time it was just all about cleaning up how far we now. yeah well no that's a good point all the venues have been sporting venues been completed for a long time now with the fish stadium which will host the opening closing ceremonies has been completed within the last few weeks the one thing i noticed when i was here this time last year the still an awful lot of work to do on the transport network in terms of the roads and the rail link but we drove in and out of sorts you this morning without a problem we flew up here on the highway to cross with me without any problem so we think it does seem to be in place and as you say there is plenty of snow so what more could be but what more could we ask for we're just waiting for the kick up day seventh everybody in the authority for us giving us the latest. but i
could build not i don't want so in store i go on a website to building a home from scratch in under a day i look for him to sign that say that very soon this will be no challenge for a new generation of giant three d. printers now we get to the bottom of the technology if you're interested at our cheat dot com. slam dunk for big corn an n.b.a. club becomes the first professional sports organization to accept the digital currency find out which team gave its because the news of fans plenty to chair about like. right to see. her street. and i would think the true. on our reporters were very. instrumental i.
am. solid because government has vowed to tackle violent crime my problem that it says plays as an equal threat for all races living in the country many white farmers see things differently there and say they're living under constant fear of attack policy or hear their side of the story. on is fixing his friends last night burglars again trying to break into his farm two weeks ago they stole equipment after killing six of his horses they threatened us with our lives in that they were all right with them so got a wife and a daughter. to the police and they've done nothing of that for thirteen years when he has lived here in south africa the successful farmer grew and sold horse feed but three months ago he gave it up the constant harassment that he's convinced is coming from some of his former black farm laborers had simply become too much in
fact last week. there raped a woman not far from here and she said to the in well if you want to just use a condom and they boil the kettle a board or. water on her back because i think they they saw that she was not afraid . farm killings in south africa have hit a record highs according to genocide watch in the last twenty years since nelson mandela's african national congress has been in power more than four thousand white farmers have been killed but ten times that number of white south africans have been brutally murdered in what many claim of racially motivated attacks an hour's drive from willy's farm and cornelius mill has been farming cattle and maize for maybe forty years he's convinced the killings are part of a systematic bid to drive white south africans and in particular farmers out of the country he's paid the ultimate price his daughter vanessa was shot dead on his farm .
where he was. used to short the thirty three year old was killed in front of her two small children from their all or part years . i think the form of these really old forms was good of the way i mean the government is saying that. we're going to take the forms because we stole the ruling a.n.c. has dismissed such claims pointing out that south africans of all colors suffer violent crime i don't. belong to all who live image. both black and white and there's never been an intention to victimize whites and the vision in the mission of the south african police service is to protect everybody in the citizen but the recent passing of nelson mandela who devoted his
life to be consigning the races has seen white nerves shoot up personally i think it's going to get worse because they were scared for him if true it's a sad legacy for a man who devoted his life to building a rainbow nation the unfortunate reality is that south africa is still a very racially divided country has a huge discrepancy between the haves who tend to be white citizens and the have nots who tend to be blacks who live in townships like this one policy r.t. south africa. remember news around the world at this hour twenty eight people forty three been injured in thailand's capital after an explosion hit an anti-government march the device was thrown from a ruined building onto a truck carrying protesters rallies have been raging all week in bangkok was demanding their government be forced from power the prime minister is insisting on a snap election in february in an effort to come the situation.
at least five people have been killed in a blast that ripped through a moving train in central pakistan around twenty of those were injured in the explosion which to railed seven carriages the train was traveling from the northern city of peshawar to karachi in the south it's unclear who was behind the attack. up ahead do we follow the most memorable moments in the longest torch relay in the history of the olympics stay tuned for that. the majority of congress are now millionaires for the first time in history according to the center for responsive politics which sounds pretty insulting when the average americans not doing so well financially this seems bad like
a bunch of rich guys rule the country which they kind of do but one could argue that congress isn't rich enough first off due to inflation a billion dollars is not as much as it used to be especially the cost of a campaign to get in the congress costs around one million six hundred thousand dollars so yeah a million dollars of net worth may sound pretty rich to you or me but the expensive game of us politics these guys can't even afford the costs related to getting the work electoral campaigns are a big money affair so it is no surprise that people like you or me can't get into the law making business without selling at least a little piece of our souls to someone who has very deep pockets so again the problem isn't that congressmen are wealthy it is that many of them have to get constant financing in order to maintain their positions and as you average folks know once you're in debt they've got you by the throat well that's just my opinion .
it was supposed to be just another news or of course although admittedly for a special occasion it was one hundred twenty three days before the start of the winter olympic games in sochi and i was in greece for the lighting of the olympic flame the ruins of one of the most famous monuments of ancient greece the site of the very first olympic games where stones like this would have been part of the temple. the temple of. temple. it.